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Can You Speed Up Your Metabolism?

heart healthy foodsMost of us often wonder – What is the magic way to boost or increase my metabolism?  Is there an answer for me? Unfortunately, the answer is “No” — there’s simply no healthy way to drop 10 pounds in five days.

But we can change our metabolism for the better! Understanding more about what determines the rate of your metabolism and some natural ways to support it will make a big difference to your waist size and overall health.

Macronutrients for healthy metabolism

Proteins (amino acids) nuts, soy, legumes, eggs, and fish are great protein choices (for those who tolerate them) and depending on what kind of eating plan you need for your specific issues.   For satisfying smoothies, include whey protein, pea protein, or brown rice protein powder, or look for protein powders that contain the amino acids arginine, aspartic acid, creatine, and N-acetylcysteine.

Complex carbohydrates.  Choose natural, unrefined carbs.  If insulin resistance is contributing to your weight gain, you may need to limit your carb intake.  Beans, brown rice, and quinoa are doubly rich in complex carbs plus healthy plant protein.

Healthy fats. Remember to include foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like seafood, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), another fatty acid found in organic dairy foods, eggs, and grass-fed beef.  If you don’t regularly eat these foods, take an omega-3 supplement.  We at Wellness Connection will supply the highest quality and purity supplements for your specific needs.


What is metabolism?

Many of us think of metabolism strictly within the confines of how efficiently we burn calories. This is certainly a key feature, but metabolism involves all the processes by which your body breaks down and uses food, water, and air to run itself and maintain life.

An efficient metabolism requires a diverse array of nutrients — the big stuff, like proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats, as well as cofactors and micronutrients like vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.

Your body takes these raw materials and breaks them down (catabolism) into their subcomponents, releasing energy, which is used to make new molecules (anabolism). Heat and metabolic waste also get generated in the process, and the materials and toxins your body can’t use are excreted, while extra sugar and fat are stored for later use.

What determines the rate of your metabolism?

We don’t understand exactly why some of us have a faster metabolism than others, but we do know that how efficient your metabolism is depends largely on the tiny powerhouses present in each of your cells called mitochondria. Metabolic rate, as defined by Dr. Mark Hyman in his book Ultrametabolism, is the “rate at which mitochondria transform food and oxygen into energy.” And that rate is influenced by the following:

  • Genetics.  Your genetic heritage influences the size, number, and efficiency of your mitochondria, the number of fat storage cells you make, and your set point.  New research is showing that genetics plays a much larger role in metabolism, weight loss, and weight loss maintenance than we previously thought.
  • Hormones. From thyroid hormones to sex hormones, your hormonal balance can also affect the way you metabolize protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Men generally have a speedier metabolism than women because of their higher testosterone levels. For more information on how hormones influence our hunger messages and metabolism, read about the hormones of appetite and satiety.
  • Age. As we grow older, the rate at which we expend energy declines. The hormone known as growth hormone contributes to our faster metabolism when we’re young and growing, but it decreases as we age. Certain foods, such as pea protein, egg whites, and soy, contain amino acids that can stimulate growth hormone.
  • Body composition. The shape of your body also influences your health and metabolism. Those with an “apple-shape” are more prone to gain weight in the central body. This central fat is more metabolically active than fat distributed in the thighs and hips (“pear-shape”), and can lead to more health issues.
  • Optimize your metabolism with micronutrients and phytonutrients

Specific enzymes, minerals, and vitamins help support healthy metabolic function.  We can guide you to which ones those are based on your specific personal needs.

Optimize your metabolic rate

The good news is that you can learn to work with all of these factors (and more) because they are under the continual influence of what you eat and how you live.

  • Exercise regularly. Building muscle means increased and more efficient mitochondria — the workhorses of your metabolism.  Exercise your body at least four to five times per week, and if time is an issue, work on interval training or “bursting” and strength-training to increase muscle. T here’s also a form of exercise known as “slow burn” that is quite successful.
  • Metabolic processes are fueled by a wide variety of nutrients.  For a simple approach, drink  snack shakes that include ingredients like whey protein, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), Garcinia, or carnitine can help give you a boost.  You might also consider drinking green tea throughout the day.    Make whatever you eat count most for your metabolism by following a plant-based, nutrient-dense, low-glycemic-load diet.
  • Timing your meals.  One of the best things you can do to jump-start your metabolism is to eat breakfast each morning, to bring your blood sugar back to normal and help it stay steady through day. You might also consider the option of eating smaller meals more often rather than three big meals a day, including some protein with each meal and snack.  Keep the metabolic fires burning by eating something every three to 3-l/2 hrs.
  • Get good sleep.  Too many of us underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep.  Sleep is crucial to keeping metabolic pathways running smoothly.  Not enough sleep has been linked to increased output of the hunger hormone, ghrelin, weight gain, insulin resistance, and type-2 diabetes.

A realistic approach to healthy metabolism

Our metabolism, energy levels, and appetites are cyclical and unique to each of us.  These cycles flow naturally through the days, months, seasons, and years as well as with our own emotional state.  There isn’t one magic bullet for supporting a healthy metabolism, but you do have many opportunities each day to make good choices.

About The Doctor

Dr. Olivia Joseph D.C., C.F.M.P is the clinic director and owner of The Wellness Connection. She is a board certified functional medicine practitioner (1 of only 8000 in the U.S.) and has traveled the country as a consultant and educator of functional medicine for other professionals. Dr. Olivia Joseph is recognized as an industry leader for pioneering and developing natural programs geared toward helping people reverse chronic disease and helping “healthy” people who want to become healthier. Don’t be surprised if you see doctors from other clinics spending the day and doing rounds trying to discover why Dr. Olivia Joseph’ care is so effective. Dr. Olivia Joseph has been helping patients for over thirteen years and has helped more than 2,000 patients successfully. Dr. Olivia Joseph has been featured as an expert on several health and wellness topics for fortune 500 companies like GE capital and Comerica Bank. She is also a registered speaker for the American Diabetes Association.She and her husband have 2 children and currently live in the 111 O’Fallon Commons Dr. O`Fallon, MO 63368 area.